Intended for healthcare professionals


Poland’s government plans mandatory registry of pregnancies and “family institute” with prosecutorial powers

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 07 December 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n3035
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal, Canada

A year after Poland’s top court imposed restrictions on abortion rights, the government plans to set up a registry that will require doctors to report all pregnancies and miscarriages, a move that women’s rights advocates fear may lead to the legal targeting of women whose pregnancies do not end in birth.

Another bill before Poland’s parliament, the Sejm, aims to set up an Institute of Demographics and Family whose president will have access to individuals’ medical and police records, the right to intervene in family civil cases and stop divorces, and the legal powers of a state prosecutor.

The bill creating the institute passed its first reading on 2 December. The registry of pregnancies is yet to be debated but the government hopes to see it operating by the end of January 2022.

The Sejm is also debating a bill that would ban abortion completely, even in cases of rape, incest, or imminent threat to the mother’s life from continued pregnancy. That bill, which was proposed not by the government but through a citizens’ petition, …

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